Author Topic: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people  (Read 6089 times)

Gagnante

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Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:48:22 PM »
I am in the market for a new (used) car, and am trying to narrow down my search a bit.  My current vehicle is a manual transmission 97 Ford Escort, and while I can get the clutch all the way to the floor with the seat fully forward, I still have to sit on a stinking pillow to feel comfortable with how much I can see out the windshield.  Plus, I am concerned about getting into an accident where the airbag deploys since the thing is very close to my face and chest.

Bottom line:  I am not just short, I am VERY short (4'8"), so a lot of vehicles are simply off the table for me as far as driving goes.  I'd be interested to hear from other short people, or those who live with them, what vehicles are a viable option and (ideally) have decent seat adjustments.  I've been sitting on pillows all of my driving life, so continuing to do so wouldn't be the end of the world, but it might be nice to feel a little more like a grownup in my car instead of like a kid playing in Dad's station wagon in the driveway ;)

Dee18

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 06:52:13 PM »
My daughter is 4'11". She is comfortable driving my Honda Accord and her Honda Civic.  I'm a bit taller, but find many cars have too deep a seat for me to comfortably bend my legs.  I have a friend about your height and she had pedal extenders professionally installed so she wouldn't have to sit so close to the airbag.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 04:10:43 AM »
Yeah for us short people! I am 5 feet tall and can agree with you it is hard to find a car that is comfortable and that we see well over the dashboard without many blind spots. I visit my short family (all about 5 feet except for my brother who is 6 feet tall) all accross the country and drive their cars when I visiting. I have found that the smaller SUVs have worked well for being able to see and seat comfort.

My list of short people approved cars/suvs

Kia Soul, Ford Edge, , Mazda 3, Subaru Outback, Honda CRV. Honda Element, Honda Odyssey

My favorite was the Honda Element. I could see everything, the seat adjusted perfectly, very few blind spots. Only reason I sold it was because it has only 4 seats. I currently drive a Honda Odyssey (minivan) which surprisingly is very good for short people. The seat adjusts up and down as well as forward and backward. It is comfortable for both my husband and I to drive on long trips.

former player

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 04:29:24 AM »
I owned and drove an MG T type as my only car for 23 years.  Designed for men in the 1920s so perfect for a woman at the end of the century.

No air bags, though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_T-type

ketchup

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 09:49:03 AM »
2003 Saturn VUE has the worst headroom/visibility for a tall person I've ever experienced, so they're probably good for short people.  2013 PriusC was similar, but not to the same extent.

catccc

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 07:05:35 AM »
I am 4'10.5" and I do okay in my husband's toyota matrix and my dodge dakota.  The truck is actually better for visibility.  The sun visor is even in an appropriate position to actually do something for me.  In either vehicle my legs will get a little tired on a longer ride, but IDK if that is because I'm short and stretching it, or just because its a long ride.  Also, both are manual transmission.  I can get the clutch all the way down easily on the forward most seat setting, and all the way down with with a slight stretch on the next setting.  I prefer to sit a tad further from the wheel, so whether I'm on the forward most or one in setting depends on my mood, I guess.  DH and I switch what we drive very frequently, so we frequently reposition the seat.  Good luck!

lhamo

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 07:28:16 AM »
I'm 5'3"-- not sure how it would work for shorter people, but I LOVE my Ford C-Max.   The seat adjusts up pretty far, and it has a HUGE front windshield with very few blind spots.  When I first got it, it felt like I was driving in a wide-screen theater.

FWIW, I HATED the Prius I test drove.  Felt like I could barely see over the top of the dashboard.

Khaetra

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 09:48:37 AM »
I'm 5' and love my Honda Fit.  I can see and reach everything, plus it's comfortable.

neo von retorch

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 09:51:00 AM »
A friend of mine that is ~ 4'10" or 4'11" drives a RAV4, so I would imagine that would work all right. (Might have to try different generations...)

VeggieTable

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 10:30:23 AM »
I'm 5'3" and I don't drive a manual, but any time I have, I have the same issue - have to pull the seat up really far to feel like I have any control over the clutch, but I'm so close I worry I'd be injured if an airbag deployed. I can comfortably sit much further back with an automatic, so that could be an option for you.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 11:00:17 AM »
My wife is 5'2". She drives 2008 Scion xB and loves it. The seat is very adjustable for her to get the right distance and height.

I would also recommend you consider a 1st gen Chevy Volt. It's my daily driver and my wife is very comfortable driving it as well.

nexus

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2017, 12:00:37 PM »
The Scion Xa that MMM (used to) own(s) is nice for shorter people. I had one well before I knew anything about MMM and was able to sorta fit comfortably in it for being a thin, nearly 6' guy. It definitely felt made for a smaller person based on where I had to rest my arm. My friends joked that it looked like Buzz Lightyear's space ship. Biggest complaint about it was no cruise control in the one I had. It made driving cross country from CA to TN very painful. It was nice because you are also higher up than in a car. Great mpg, though.

Other suggestions: Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, Honda Civic, or if you want to be a real badass buy a Honda Grom*. Perfect motorcycle for shorter folks and way better mpg than a Prius. Not to mention, more fun! ;p

*http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/honda/grom_125

BFGirl

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2017, 02:56:43 PM »
I'm 5'3"-- not sure how it would work for shorter people, but I LOVE my Ford C-Max.   The seat adjusts up pretty far, and it has a HUGE front windshield with very few blind spots.  When I first got it, it felt like I was driving in a wide-screen theater.

FWIW, I HATED the Prius I test drove.  Felt like I could barely see over the top of the dashboard.

I'm 5' and I second the Ford C-Max.  Wide windshield and very comfortable to drive.  I love love love it!  Plus it's a hybrid.

acroy

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2017, 03:22:39 PM »
Miata
Fiat 500 (Abarth of course)

life's too short not to enjoy driving...
good luck!

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2017, 03:56:46 PM »
I just bought a new Chevy Malibu hybrid sedan to replace my 97 Saturn. I'm 5'0". Don't know if you're looking to buy new or used and how much you want to spend but here's my take:

Almost all newer cars have much more adjustable seats than a 97, if you go above the lowest trim line. Seat height adjustments are fantastic. Not only can I easily see through the windshield, I can see a bit of the hood--first time ever! Steering wheels are adjustable-height and some even telescope so you can bring them closer or push them away. It is great not to have to sit on a cushion or put one behind me. 

Gagnante

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2017, 07:38:19 PM »
Wow, thank you for all the great responses, everyone!  This definitely gives me some good options to explore, including some vehicles I'd never heard of, and others I would have considered out of the question based on my preconceived ideas of what they must be like to drive.

Gagnante

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 07:39:04 PM »
So, to revive this thread, and again thank everyone for their input, I finally pulled the plug on a purchase today, and wound up with a 2010 Toyota Corolla.  I still need my pillow, but I'm quite pleased with how well I see, with the exception of the front "thingies" that separate the windshield from the side window.  I found when turning left with a cement median in the cross street, I had to lean over to make sure I cleared it because I couldn't see past the front thingie.  That said, it was a dream low-mileage-from-an-elderly-couple-for-a-very-reasonable-price purchase, I'm very pleased, and found it very comfortable to drive.

Tom Bri

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 08:23:45 PM »
I am 6' tall and it seems like every car is designed for 'short' people. I never considered the problems at the opposite side. Same for theaters, conference rooms, airplanes. All too small for me, and probably too big for you. Seems like something that a good engineer could fix, but maybe not.

BrandNewPapa

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2017, 09:24:17 AM »
All too small for me, and probably too big for you. Seems like something that a good engineer could fix, but maybe not.

Having worked as an engineer in automotive industry and an engineer doing control room design, I can tell you this is something we pay way more attention to than you think.  Typically things are designed to "comfortably" fit a 95% male and a 5% female.

"Comfortably" is subjective and also doesn't guarantee a perfect view plus consider all the variation in body sizes and types - its infinite. Not an easy problem to solve affordably.

We do our best.

Lepetitange3

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2017, 09:49:32 AM »
Mazda!

aalferez

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2017, 10:21:09 AM »
I'm 6'2'' and I drive a Ford Fiesta.

A big car for a small guy? Small penis syndrome?

BFGirl

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2017, 03:12:38 PM »
I am 6' tall and it seems like every car is designed for 'short' people. I never considered the problems at the opposite side. Same for theaters, conference rooms, airplanes. All too small for me, and probably too big for you. Seems like something that a good engineer could fix, but maybe not.

I have a little folding stool that I use on airplanes because otherwise my legs are dangling or I am supporting them on tiptoes the whole time. 

Tom Bri

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2017, 12:46:53 AM »
I am 6' tall and it seems like every car is designed for 'short' people. I never considered the problems at the opposite side. Same for theaters, conference rooms, airplanes. All too small for me, and probably too big for you. Seems like something that a good engineer could fix, but maybe not.

I have a little folding stool that I use on airplanes because otherwise my legs are dangling or I am supporting them on tiptoes the whole time.

I should start taking an inflatable cushion with me when I fly. Or maybe I enjoy complaining more...

Urchina

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Re: Suggestions wanted: Cars for short people
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2017, 01:18:55 AM »
Tesla Roadster or Lotus Esprit both look pretty dinky. 😀